Twelve years ago my husband killed himself and the world turned upside down for me and my three children, the youngest being a babe-in-arms at the time.
I never finished school and hadn’t worked during my marriage so, after the death of my husband, I was faced with the many challenges of a single, unemployed parent. I felt alone in my struggles and I had no one I could turn to. I prayed and pretended that everything would be alright; I had to make my children feel secure. I focused on taking care of my children and I even tried another relationship, which only resulted in me having another child.
I felt worried and fearful all the time. A friend saw how depressed I looked and became worried for me and my children. She told me about the “New Beginnings Weekend” advertisement she had seen in the Catholic News last year but I instantly thought that was not for me as my husband died so long ago. Plus, the idea of meeting people for the first time terrified me and I never gave it another thought – until a few months ago when I felt so lost and alone. I had become depressed and sick with worry and that’s when I remembered my friend’s suggestion and decided then and there that I would try the New Beginnings Weekend.
As the day approached I felt afraid, I had no idea what this weekend was about but I had made up my mind that I was going. I needed help. I felt nervous as I arrived but the people who greeted me were very friendly and welcoming and that helped me to relax. On the very first evening I discovered something about myself that I never knew and as the weekend unfolded I was glad that I had decided to attend.
The New Beginnings Weekend helped me realise that I had a lot of anger stored up inside of me and that all this time I had only been pretending that I was alright when I was really a walking time bomb – and my children were the ones I exploded on. The New Beginnings Weekend helped me discover myself and gave me tools to help me take care of myself, to help me get rid of the anger that was a sore inside of me, and it gave me hope for a better life with myself and my children. I left my New Beginnings Weekend feeling light, happy and thankful, I left knowing that the transition to a New Beginning had begun. I am a thankful widow.
I would like to encourage my brothers and sisters who are separated, divorced and widowed to do a weekend. The next New Beginnings Weekend is from October 11-13 at the Seminary building, Mt St Benedict. Contact Lucille at 653-7487 or Zena at 391-4352.